The new recipe for Christmas ad success: topical references and corny jokes | WARC | The Feed
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The new recipe for Christmas ad success: topical references and corny jokes
It’s quite a turnaround, but retailer John Lewis no longer appears to be the gold standard for Christmas ads – that accolade now goes to supermarket Aldi, according to ad effectiveness agency System1’s annual appraisal of seasonal ads in the UK.
Why it matters
People want emotional ads but the nature of those emotions is changing. The tear-jerking tone of John Lewis’s Unexpected Guest (25th in the System1 ranking) isn’t what people are looking for in 2021.
Laughter is the best medicine for tough times and Aldi’s approach (its ad was the only one to score 5+ stars) allows the opportunity for humour, in the form of slapstick and bad puns, and topicality (e.g. the introduction of Marcus Radishford). The retailer has been using Kevin the Carrot in its Christmas ads for six years now, which illustrates the power of consistent creativity.
The UK’s top 10 favourite Christmas ads
- Aldi - A Christmas Carrot by Charles Chickens - 5.4 stars
- Sky Cinema - Sky Cinema Christmas 2021 - 4.9 stars
- Morrisons - Make Good Things Happen - 4.7 stars
- M&S Food - Percy Pigs Come To Life - 4.6 stars
- Coop - Co-Op Christmas Community Field - 4.5 stars
- Smyths Toy Superstore - If I were a toy - 4.5 stars
- Guide Dogs - Sponsor A Puppy 2021 - 4.4 stars
- Joules - Live Merry and Bright - 4.1 stars
- Vodafone - Give The Gift Of Connection - 4.1 stars
- Not On The High Street – Gift the Extraordinary - 4.0 stars
“Christmas ads have traditionally become renowned for making us teary, with emotive soundtracks and poignant storylines, but this year we’re clearly seeing a return to old-school advertising techniques: familiar characters, mouth-watering feasts and even a few good jokes” – Jon Evans, CMO at System1.
System1’s testing method asks viewers to determine how they feel about an ad and how powerful that emotion is, with the responses then used to create a ‘star rating’. The higher the star rating, the more the quality of the ad will amplify media spend on it.
Sourced from System 1
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